Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
"The overseer should therefore be . . . reasonable [yielding, ftn.]." (1 Timothy 3:2, 3)
One of the qualifications for those appointed to serve as overseers involves being willing to yield. This is especially vital when appointed men meet to consider congregation matters. Before a decision is reached, each one present is free to express himself clearly, though it is not required that every elder make some comment. During a discussion, an individual’s view may change as he hears others direct attention to Scriptural principles that apply. Rather than resisting and holding to a personal view, a mature elder yields. At the outset, there may have been differing views, but prayerful reflection promotes oneness among modest and yielding elders. (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-3) In all his activity, a Christian elder should strive to uphold theocratic order, which will help him to show consideration and gentleness to others.
(Watchtower issue: 03/15/08, 1:15, 16)
*The new book that was released this summer during the district convention -"Bearing Thorough Witness" About God's Kingdom, has a perfect example of this in chapters 13 & 14.
It discusses the events regarding the circumcision issue (which was an ongoing debate from 36-49 C.E.) and was causing divisions between Jewish and Gentile members of the congregation. (Acts 15:1-35) When you recall that we're talking about a 1,900-year-old covenant that was such a defining part of Jewish history & tradition, you can see why this was such a sensitive issue that definitely required a reasonable and yielding attitude in order to reach a solution.
What impressed me was how Paul and Barnabas (who'd been given responsibility and authority over matters relating to the Gentiles, and had more experience dealing with this issue) -didn't try to 'take charge' or 'push ahead' in the decision-making process (even though Paul was an apostle). Instead, they, along with Peter, handled the matter in an organized theocratic way -by submitting the matter to all the members of the governing body, and reasoning with them from the scriptures to support their position,...rather than impatiently telling the more traditional-minded brothers to "stop living in the past and get up to speed with the new changes already!" lol. =)
The end result, and the unanimous decision they were able to cooperatively reach, ultimately worked out well for both the Jews & the Gentiles, and shows how much more effective it is to handle 'conflicts of opinion' in a reasonable and yielding way.